The CBS news show “60 Minutes” doesn’t have theme music but a theme sound: the steady ticking of a clock. Here at St. James, now and at least through the summer, we could do a lot worse than adopt that theme sound as our own. Time and times, schedules and waiting, these things are concerns of ours just now, and so we will be listening to the ticking.
To begin and most immediately, on Sunday, May 24, we will begin a new Sunday mass schedule. Most of us will not need any time at all to adjust to this since it is the same as the old Sunday mass schedule, the one we had before Labor Day of this past year. Starting on May 24 we will go back to two Sunday morning masses, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Although we will return to the old schedule, I am hoping that we will not return to the old habits with regard to time, at least not at the 11:30 a.m. mass. I came here in July, and in July and August I noticed what everybody in this parish already knew – for the 9:30 a.m. mass, folks are in the Hall and ready to go for the 9:30 a.m. starting time, whereas that was not the case for the second mass. Of course, there were always a
couple of latecomers to the 9:30 a.m., and some people were there and ready at 11:30 a.m., but really, it was pretty bad at the 11:30 a.m. Mass would start with maybe twenty people, and most of those who would eventually be counted as “present” at that second mass would start coming in five minutes later and then just keep on coming: ten minutes late, fifteen minutes late, twenty minutes late, and even later than that, not even getting there in time for the Creed.
So…… If you’re going to start attending the second mass, and if getting there late was your thing, now’s the time to think about how you’re going to change that. It’s a huge disrespect to the
sacrament, the congregation, and yourself to be coming late
regularly. Figure out how to listen better to the time at home so that it works better for you and for all of us.
Beyond that immediate time concern, there is the winding down of the clock to the current fiscal year. June 30 marks the end of FY 2014-15, and a few weeks after that we’ll have the final numbers on how St. James is doing financially. Our archdiocesan parish operations people are pretty sure that we’ll be ending with a deficit, although right now they can’t say and we can’t know how bad that deficit will be. The budget that we had to submit for FY 2015-16, which begins on July 1, is a budget based on our continuing on as we have been, and the deficit projected for 2015-16 is around a hundred thousand dollars. Obviously, we can’t just go on this way, and if the expectations of the parish operations people are proven to be right this July, then we won’t be able to continue on as we have been. The Archdiocese won’t allow it, and even if they would, we wouldn’t want to live irresponsibly. So for now we wait, we look at the numbers, we glance at our watches, and in July we’ll see where we are.
Fr. Bob Sprott, O.F.M.